Issue Date: June 15, 2009
Dow Corning Refocuses On Silicone Innovation
As part of a plan to shift its technology resources toward developing new specialty silicone products, Dow Corning is doubling the number of standard silicones—rubber bases, dimethyl fluids, emulsions, and sealants—available to customers on its Web-enabled Xiameter order system. The strategy will allow Dow Corning's research labs to concentrate on more profitable and innovative specialty silicones and polysilicon in markets such as electronics, solar energy, construction, and personal care. The move should also help the firm revive profits hit by the economic downturn, CEO Stephanie A. Burns says. Dow Corning, a joint venture of Dow Chemical and glassmaker Corning, reported that earnings, excluding unusual charges, declined 58% in the first quarter of 2009 to $67 million. Xiameter was started in 2002 as a way for the firm to reduce costs and accelerate bulk silicone sales at competitive prices to large customers that did not require extensive assistance. Now, the firm will more than double the number of products available through the online order system to 2,100 and brand them as Xiameter products. Distributors and smaller customers that order in pallet and drum quantities will also be able to use the Xiameter order system. To stimulate growth in specialty silicones, Burns says, Dow Corning is still hiring optical physicists, biologists, chemists, and engineers. It wants to bolster sales of products that are five years old or less beyond the current 20% of total sales.
- Chemical & Engineering News
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